There are times it seems like God is sleeping. Below decks, unaware, or uncaring about the storms around us. It’s in those times we HAVE to choose to trust His Good Heart toward us.
A number of years ago, I was driving home late one night from a Bible Study, after what had been an incredibly emotionally difficult day and evening. As one of the few single participants in this graduate student study, seeing all the happy couples who had met and fallen in love in this group didn’t help any.
I just wanted to have a partner, someone to walk through life with, someone to love me and tell me I was worth fighting for. As of yet, someone like that didn’t seem to exist. And I was so lonely.
I felt like I was in the disciples’ boat when the storm came up all of a sudden, pouring water into the boat, and threatening to capsize it, and Jesus is asleep, blissfully unaware of the problem (Luke 8:22-25). I was so tossed around and pummeled emotionally, I didn’t know how I was going to make it through another day, much less another year or more, or however long it took for Mr. Right to materialize out of thin air.
Sure God could fix everything. He’s God! But, He seemed to be asleep at the wheel again. Mysteriously, conspicuously absent. Didn’t He care? Why wasn’t He DOING something?!
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A Conversation I’ll Never Forget
I finally decided, as I ascended Afton Mountain that night, God was big enough to take whatever I dished out at Him. So, I yelled and screamed and vented every ounce of my anger and frustration out at Him. Don’t you even care?!
It was in that moment of absolute honesty that I heard, for the first time in my life, a nearly audible voice ask, “Do you believe I know what’s best for you?”
“Well, sure, theoretically I know You’re supposed to know what’s best for me.”
“Then why don’t you trust Me?”
“Because You’re not doing what I want you to do!”
“Do you believe I know what’s best for you?”
“Then why don’t you trust Me?”
We went round and round with these two questions the rest of the drive home. If I believed He knew what was best, why wasn’t I trusting Him to take care of it?
Oh, Me of Little Faith
I remember that conversation with God so vividly, and periodically, those questions return to haunt me when I’m frustrated with God not doing things the way I think they should be done. Today, as I was reading again the story of Jesus calming the storm in Luke 8, I was reminded of those questions yet again.
I can just imagine the disciples’ thoughts when Jesus accused them of having no faith, of not trusting Him. “Are you KIDDING me?? We’re about to get KILLED in this storm, and You’re ASLEEP!! How can we trust you when you’re not even paying attention to our life and death situation here?!”Do you believe God knows what is BEST for you? Then why don't you TRUST Him? Click To Tweet
Doesn’t God Care?
How were they supposed to know He had everything under control? He didn’t even appear to know what was happening! If He wasn’t acting, how would they know to trust Him?
The same questions that must have confused the tar out of the disciples continue to plague believers today. Maybe I shouldn’t generalize – they definitely still mess with me! How can we “have faith” when it seems like God doesn’t even know we’re hurting? Or worse, He does know, and chooses to do nothing.
How do we know if He’ll wake up in the middle of the storm and calm it? Are we supposed to go wake Him up when life gets too turbulent? Is He some sleeping God who only acts when we ask Him to? It sure does seem that way sometimes.
Maybe We Have to Ask
I suppose there are stories in the Bible of Jesus healing people of His own volition, but most of the time, someone comes to Him and asks to be healed. The one that always stands out to me is the man with leprosy who comes and says, “Teacher, if you want to, you can cleanse me.”
Jesus replies, “I want to. Be clean.” (Luke 5:12-13) The desire to heal us is always there; it seems to be a matter of whether or not we’re willing to ask for it.
What if we do ask and He still doesn’t act? In my case on that late night drive, I’d been asking for Him to show up for me, and He didn’t.How do we know if He’ll wake up in the middle of the storm and calm it? Are we supposed to go wake Him up when life gets too turbulent? Is He some sleeping God who only acts when we ask Him to? Click To Tweet
Behind the Scenes
Today, for the first time, I can see how He might have been working on the problem at that time, and I would have had no way of knowing it. When I was yelling and screaming at God that night, my now husband was only a junior in college and was in no way ready to be a godly husband for me. But, that was the time in his life that God was most active in growing him and giving him the confidence he would need to pursue me.
God did know what was best for me; He knew I needed this particular man, and He knew he wasn’t ready for me yet. Funny how today I’m finally putting all the pieces together…
A Thought-provoking Conversation
Two years after that questioning conversation with God, I was again lamenting to a co-worker the fact that no Mr. Right – or any man for that matter – had shown up in my life, that God seemed to not care how lonely I was or how desperately I wanted to be married and start a family.
She stopped me and lovingly, but firmly said, “Laura, I really feel like God wants me to tell you this: He has a husband for you. But, he’s not ready for you yet.”
Have you heard the story about how God later asked me to plan my wedding with no groom in sight? Yeah… that’s a good Lesson in Faith, too! ?
When It Seems Like God Is Sleeping, Maybe He’s Just DREAMING!
At that point, my now husband would have been freshly out of college and still trying to figure out what to do with his life. I asked him recently if he would have been ready to get married at that point.
His answer? A resounding ‘no.’ Apparently, God was looking out for my best interest all along. I just didn’t know it.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but I’m praying that with this one particular example behind me, I’ll be able to trust more fully from here on out, even when I feel like God’s asleep below deck somewhere.
Maybe He’s just “dreaming” up something better for me than I ever could have imagined for myself. ?
As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.